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Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Thursday, 11 November 2010

I'll quit if I'm fined - Blackpool boss Ian Holloway


Holloway reiterates resignation threat

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has reiterated his threat to resign if his club are fined for fielding a weakened side in the 3-2 defeat by Aston Villa.

Holloway, who made the original claim immediately after the match, said again on Thursday he would quit if punished.

The Seasiders boss made 10 changes to the side that had drawn 2-2 against Everton at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

But they still pushed Villa hard, and Holloway said: "I'm the manager and I manage the players how I want."

A similar move by Mick McCarthy last season resulted in Wolves getting a suspended £25,000 Premier League fine.

The Premier League is writing to Blackpool to seek an explanation, but Holloway added: "We deserved at least a point and how dare anybody tell me the players I've been working with, I can't treat them with respect and give them a chance.

"If some bright spark from the Premier League wants to tell me who I can pick then come and have a cup of coffee and you'll probably get it chucked in your lap.


Holloway defends making 10 changes

"Let them try and fine me, it's an absolute disgrace. I'll show the Premier League. We were a credit to football, and let the Premier League try to tell me otherwise."

Speaking after the match at Villa Park on Wednesday, Holloway had admitted that making such wholesale changes may have looked like a "crazy" move.

But Holloway said his hand was forced by the busy Premier League calendar.

"We've got four games in 12 days and the lads I've played every week are struggling to keep up the level," he stated.

With regulars like Charlie Adam, Stephen Crainey and Matt Gilks left out, Holloway gave six players their first Premier League start in a line-up which has made only 12 top-flight starts between them this season.

Only midfielder Keith Southern retained his place from the side that earned a 2-2 draw at home to Everton on Saturday.

champions league for the tangerine

"I picked a team that I spent a lot of money on," Holloway added. "The right-back (Chris Basham) cost me £1m. The Israeli centre-half (Dekel Keinan) is an international. Jason Euell was my captain last year. Ludovic Sylvestre, I paid £600,000 for him.

"We've got more points (14) than any of you people [the media] ever thought we would get. If you talk about the game, we earned at least a point.

"How dare anyone tell me the players I've been working with, I can't give them a chance. Tonight they have enhanced their reputation."

Despite his decision to pick a largely second-string side, Blackpool almost left Villa Park with a point after a lively display.

Marlon Harewood and DJ Campbell both scored to cancel out goals from Stewart Downing and Nathan Delfouneso but Villa defender James Collins headed a late winner to deny the Seasiders at the death.

Holloway said he was disappointed not to get at least a point from the match but he was proud of the players he had brought in.

He added: "That was a test for us and our strength in depth and a test for the ones who haven't played and I'm bursting with pride because they were fantastic.

"I felt their performance more than at least deserved a point. The whole club has been represented magnificently today."

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier was impressed by Blackpool's fearless display.

Villa character pleases Houllier

"When I saw their team line-up I was extremely worried," said the Frenchman. "They had nothing to lose and they threw everything at us.

"Holloway deserves great credit for what he's doing. They throw everything offensively and make the game spectacular. I hope they stay up."

Several fellow Premier League managers have also voiced support for Holloway and defended their right to make wholesale changes to their line-ups.

"I think it should be left to the manager of the football club to decide what team they pick, and nobody else," said Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

"Who is to say the other 10 players he left out would have done as well as the 10 that played?"

Fulham manager Mark Hughes also questioned whether the authorities are in the best position to judge whether any changes weaken a team.

"Only he and his staff know the current state of his team and his players and if he feels that certain players need a rest and he could still put out a team that can compete at Premier League level - which they undoubtedly did at Villa last night - I think he's very much in his rights to do that," he said.

"I think it'd be wrong if people start stepping in and telling managers who they should be picking."

Avram Grant, whose bottom-of-the-table West Ham host Blackpool on Saturday, also had no complaints with Holloway's selection.

"They did what they had to do for that (match)," he commented.

Blackpool v Aston Villa on 10 November: Kingson, Keinan (Evatt, 75), Edwards, Carney, Southern, Sylvestre, Basham, Phillips, Harewood (Campbell, 77), Euell (Adam, 72), Ormerod.

Blackpool v Everton on 6 November: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Crainey, Evatt, Southern (Phillips, 62), Adam, Vaughan, Varney (Harewood, 74), Taylor-Fletcher (Grandin, 74), Campbell.

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see also
Aston Villa 3-2 Blackpool
10 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Holloway defends making 10 changes
10 Nov 10 |  Blackpool
Villa character pleases Houllier
10 Nov 10 |  Aston Villa
Holloway riled by selection criticism
11 Nov 10 |  Football
Wolves fined over team selection
18 Feb 10 |  Wolves

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